Once an emergency has been confirmed, the first minute is an adrenaline-fueled race against the clock. Add an emotional rush of panic and anxiety... and now you must orchestrate your crisis communications plan. This is one the most important times of an emergency response; it sets the wheels in motion for the duration of the incident.
Occurring between the “Before” and “During” stages of the Critical Communications Cycle, the speed and accuracy of information, and the initiated actions, during these first moments will impact the successful outcome of an emergency.
There are no second chances. You’ve planned accordingly, outlined the appropriate response actions in your emergency procedures, and even practiced a few times - but this really matters. What will you do?
There are three core elements to any communications plan that need to happen during the first minute of a verified incident:
Notify your people - Providing the information necessary to keep people out of harm’s way is paramount to any emergency response and it needs to happen immediately.
Mobilize additional resources - Including first responders in your communications is fundamental so you know you are receiving proper backup.
Collaborate with your team - Discuss the next steps of the incident response with members of your Crisis Communication Team
Leveraging your emergency notification system to assist with executing the actions within these steps is a must. If you have the ability to prepare anything in advance within your ENS (your message, who will be notified, which endpoints will be utilized, how you will get with your team to discuss next steps, etc.) this will help minimize confusion, risk, and decrease the pressure of getting it right.
Taking it even further, by having the ability to accomplish multiple actions at once that have already been outlined and set up within your emergency notification system- you are saving time, which in turn could help save lives.